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Afghan War News > History > Afghan War Timeline


1979-1989. The Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

1989-1992. The Afghan Civil War (1989-1992).

1992-1996. The Afghan Civil War (1992-1996).

1996-2001. The Taliban regime. The Taliban win out against the Kabul regime (composed of the different mujahideen factions).


2000. United Nations imposes sanctions in failed attempt to force the Taliban regime to hand over Osama Bin Laden.


September 11, 2001. Al Qaeda terrorists hyjack four airplanes and fly them three of them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center buildings. A fourth airplane does not make it to its intended target due to intervention by passengers, and instead crashes into a farm field.

2001. The Buddha statues in Bamiyan are destroyed by the Taliban. Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader is assassinated on September 9. On September 11 the 9/11 attacks take place in the United States. 1.

October 7, 2001. U.S.-led coalition begins a bombing campaign by American and British forces. Logistical support is provided by France, Germany, Canada, and Australia. The offensive was targeting the al-Qaida organization and the fundamentalist Taliban government.

Fall 2001. The U.S. Army Special Forces inserted 300 Green Berets and the Central Intelligence Agency infiltrated 100 agents to link up with and work alongside the Northern Alliance to mount an offensive against the Taliban.

November 16, 2001. The U.S. began bombing remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the mountains of Tora Bora. At the same time, U.S. Army Green Berets, British Special Air Service troops, and CIA operatives were coordinating with local warlords for an attack on enemy positions in the Tora Bora mountain range.

December 2001. The U.S., aided by special operations forces of other allies, assist the Northern Alliance and Pashtu resistance groups in toppling the Taliban regime.


 The U.S. moves into Afghanistan with a force of 8,000. European and other nations also contributed forces - primarily in the Kabul area. Hamid Karzai is selected as leader by Loya Jirga.


New constitution is drafted and debated. Parts of the country still not secured.


Karzai is elected president in first nationwide election. A constitution is ratified. Security problems continue.


ISAF takes the lead for security throughout the country. The insurgency gains strength. The Afghan government proves to be corrupt and inept - unable to provide government services thereby fueling the insurgency.


The insurgency gains strength.


Provincial council and presidential elections take place. Hamid Karzai is re-elected by way of fraud and corruption. The 30,000 man surge begins; primarily in the south of Afghanistan.


The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program is established.



The surge of troops ends. ISAF begins "partnering" phase of the war.


 Chicago Summit takes place - changing the role of ISAF. "Partnering" transitions to "Security Force Assistance".


Troop levels decline. ANSF is in the lead; ISAF continues to advise and assist through Security Force Assistance. The retrograde of troops and equipment begins. Introduction of "Functionally-based Security Force Assistance". In November 2013 a Loya Jirga is held which overwhelming endorses the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement.

Fall 2013. Karzai refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement. Presidential elections scheduled for April.


U.S. troop levels fall to 32,000 in February.

April 5. Afghanistan holds nation-wide elections. The first two runner-ups (Abdullah and Ghani) head to run-off elections.

June 14. Afghanistan holds presidential run-off elections. Massive ballot box fraud takes place putting election results in doubt.

September 21, 2014. Ghani and Abdullah sign an agreement to share power in the National Unity Government (NUG). Ghani as president and Abdullah as chief executive officer with "prime minister like" duties.

September 30, 2014. Afghanistan and the United States sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) providing legal basis for the U.S. in Afghanistan. The NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is signed.

December 28, 2014. NATO ends the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.


January 1, 2015. The NATO Resolute Support Mission begins.


February 2020. The United States and Taliban representatives sign a 'withdrawal agreement' providing for a steady decline in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan within one year.

Fall 2020. President Trump tweets that all U.S. troops should return from Afghanistan by Christmas.

More Info on Afghan War Timeline

Return to Hope - Timeline by NATO

Timeline:  Afghanistan Since 1700 by The Cairo Review of Global Affairs.

Daily Mail (UK) Timeline

1999 to Present: U.S. War in Afghanistan. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) presents an interactive timeline of the Afghan conflict.


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1. See the CIA's short story entitled "On the Front Lines: CIA in Afghanistan", July 23, 2012.






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